Russia condemns raid on British embassy in Iran

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Russia condemned a raid by dozens of protesters in Tehran on the British embassy compound on Tuesday and urged the Iranian authorities to take immediate steps to restore order.

Calling the attack "unacceptable and deserving condemnation," the Russian foreign ministry said it hoped "the Iranian authorities undertake necessary measures to immediately restore order, investigate what happened, and prevent a repetition of such incidents."

It added that the raid "was conducted in contravention of generally accepted norms of international law" and expressed support for the British diplomats.

Moscow is Tehran's closest ally among the major world powers, conducting regular consultations with Iranian officials even as they face growing diplomatic isolation from the West.

Moscow also has strong economic and military ties which it continues to defend despite growing Western concerns over Tehran's suspected nuclear weapons programme, and this year completed the construction of Iran's first nuclear power plant.

Despite few signs of actual progress, Moscow is also promoting a new solution to Iran's standoff with Western powers that involves an end to existing sanctions in exchange for nuclear cooperation by Tehran.

© 2011 AFP

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